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A traumatic brain injury is defined as an insult to the human brain, which can be the result of impact such as from a fall or accident, internal damage or from oxygen starvation.

A traumatic brain injury

Though not always evident, a traumatic brain injury can cause long-term physical, intellectual, social and physical changes for the individual.  The enduring effects of a traumatic brain injury can be an emotional and financial burden, medical strain and is very difficult for the family to endure.

More than 1.5 million Americans suffer from non-fatal traumatic brain injuries each year, which do not require hospitalization.  Approximately 56,000 traumatic brain injuries are fatal and estimated 62.3 per 100,000 individuals aged 15 years or older are living with these types of impairments.  The condition affects men two times more often than a female, and the greatest risks are to people between the ages of 15-24.

Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury symptoms will vary from person to person and will depend on which portions of the brain have been damaged.  The most common traumatic brain injury symptoms can include the following:

  • Weakness in the limbs or even an entire side of the body
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioral changes
  • Vertigo (spinning)
  • Impulsive control issues
  • Irritability
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Slurry or slow speech
  • Sleep disruptions or difficulties
  • Loss of memory
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizures
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlights that currently 3.17 million people in the country are living with a long-term traumatic brain injury.  According to further statistical information, people suffering from a traumatic brain injury are highly unlikely to receive the proper services for medical needs, which affect the quality of life over the long-term.

Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Week/Month

March 10th-16th, the DANA Foundation

The month of March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Association of America launches a year-long national campaign to raise public interest in the condition.  The campaign involves print media, radio announcements and other awareness materials which are distributed to the general public.  It is the hope of the foundation that by raising awareness that the number of traumatic brain injuries will be reduced as people become more aware of the importance of protecting the head.

Overview

Because there are many ways in which a person can suffer a traumatic brain injury, it is important to educate the public and provide safety information which will inform individuals about the debilitating effects it can have on the life of an individual.  Brain injuries are one of the most preventable forms of injury and through making sure that people know about the importance of protecting the head, some of these injuries can be possibly avoided.  Through advocating for awareness and raising public interest in the topic of traumatic brain injuries, the Brain Injury Association of America is showing others how much this problem can change and alter a person’s quality of life and what can be done to prevent it from happening.

  • www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=441
  • www.neurologychannel.com/tbi/symptoms.shtml
  • www.biausa.org/biam.htm